MWF 2014 Official Selection: Stories of Bike

30 June 2014

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Ahead of Melbourne WebFest 2014 we are profiling all the series in the Official Selection as well as the “Second Look” series. 

What inspired him to create Stories of Bike were two short films: Solus by Lossa Engineering and Chabott Engineering (Shinya Kimura) by Henrik Hansen. Elkins was amazed by how well these films were made and frustrated that there weren’t more like them.

Although he had come across the occasional short film on bikes, he found that they lacked in telling the stories behind the relationship the builder had with them. This gave him the urge to create his own series – not just on builders, but everyday riders and their bikes.

Elkins says the series is unlike anything else on YouTube. This is as it is filled with lush photography, original music, tight editing and, most of all, the heart-warming and inspiring stories from every-day folks and their motorcycles.

What do you want people to take away from your series?

I originally started making these videos just for myself, as there was nothing else like this online. But now I get regular messages and emails from viewers saying how inspired and touched they’ve been from watching the videos. It was something I really didn’t expect and now it’s become something that drives me to always be improving on every episode.

But, in short, I suppose I would just hope that people enjoy the videos and that maybe it articulates what they feel as a rider or, as another human being, just allows them to connect with someone else’s story.

How do you finance your series? 

 Ha! Mostly out of my own pocket. But recently, as the series is reaching a wider audience, commercial sponsors have started to take interest and contribute funds toward producing episodes.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in production?

 Making every episode has and always will be an absolutely blast. The best part about making Stories of Bike is really taking the time to get to know someone new. Where you might meet someone for the first time, you make some small talk which might lead to a few interesting tidbits about who they are, the research and, ultimately, the interview I conduct with each featured rider is always fascinating.

The downside is then trying to condense all this wonderful information into a 5 to 15 minute episode.

It’s probably my least favourite part, editing the story together. This is because it takes the longest time in the whole process. I can’t move on until I’m satisfied that I’ve compiled an engaging story.

How do you reach your audience?

Most of it is by word of mouth and social media. Occasionally, there will be a great website, magazine or newspaper that will run an article on the series, which gives Stories of Bike a healthy boost. But most of the time it’s just people wanting to share something that they’ve discovered in the series.

Is it an ongoing project? If so, can you give us some clues about what comes next? 

I’ve just completed 10 episodes for Season 1 and am already two episodes into Season 2. I have 6 more episodes in various stages of production including my first two international episodes.

I’m also trying a few different things, with multi-episode “mini-series” and also a couple of episodes that deviate a little from the usual format.

Trivia: please tell us a quirky and/or interesting fact about yourself or team that’s unrelated to your web series.

 Jack, who writes the gorgeous original music for each episode, is my youngest brother. He’s actually my half-brother from my Dad’s 2nd marriage, but I call him my brother all the same. We are two of four brothers in total with I being the eldest and Jack the youngest. The curious thing between all the brothers is that, the younger they get the taller they get. So, while I’m the eldest I’m also the shortest. Making Jack the tallest of them all.


Stories of Bike on the web:




Twitter: @StoriesOfBike


Keep up to date with Melbourne Web Fest on twitter: @MelbWebFest

La Trobe University is a festival sponsor of Melbourne WebFest.